Huwwara, Za'tara (Tapuah), יום א' 25.1.09, בוקר
Translation: Suzanne O.
On the road, a few kilometres before Ariel, a checkpoint.
All the cars are channelled into one lane and pass under the eagle eye of 'our forces' (Border Police? Shabak?)
There are 8 cars from the direction of Nablus.
About 20 - 30 people wait in the shed. One detainee is being checked out. The internationals tell us that, before we arrived, the stall holders were turned out of the car park.
The queue disappears from the shed.
3 Border Police soldiers arrived; they brutally turned the stall holders out and overturned their stalls and their goods, including the bagel stand.
Palestinian version: the Border Police didn't just throw the cans of cola etc., out; they also trod on them and kicked them.
Border Police version: we did indeed tip up the stalls but it was the angry stallholders who trod on the cans in the heat of their anger.
In response to our approach the roadblock commander said that the actions of the Border Police have no connection to the roadblock soldiers who "do not deal with this". To be precise: at 5:00 a.m., the roadblock commander told the stallholders to leave according to the Brigade Commander's orders. For those who did not comply he called in the Border Police.
The Border Police unit continues to operate. Perhaps because of our watchful eyes their commander did not overturn the stall with the bags of sweets, he just ordered it to be taken away while watching to see that it was done. He noted the ID numbers of the "criminal" stall holders who will, it seems, get a "black mark".
The Border Police soldiers explain that it is an order from the Brigade Commander and since Thursday they have told the stall holders six times to leave, including twice this morning, but they continue to return.
Edna approaches the roadblock commander with a question: what is happening about the issue of toilets and water at the roadblock ... he does not answer. Edna: "Are you prepared to respond to the question?" The commander: "Move away from here, you are not permitted to stand here, vacate this space".
A Border Police soldier heard Edna's question and responded: "Let them urinate at home..."
The Border Police monitor the packing up and loading up process of the cigarettes and drinks vendor.
We recommend that MachsomWatch initiate an approach to the Brigade Commander requesting that an area of the car park be allocated to the stall holders (a recommendation which one of the Border Police voiced to us).